American Family Association Accuses Sears Of Selling Porn, Needs To Learn What Porn Really Is

Remember those posters you used to flip through at the back of Spencer Gifts in the mall? The ones featuring scantily clad women — and some bare-chested dudes — looking all sexy-like into the camera? Well, apparently the not-at-all-insane people at the American Family Association are convinced that these are pornographic… and they are absolutely livid that they can be purchased at Sears.com.

The AFA recently posted a call to arms on its website. Please note that the “*”s in the following quote are theirs, because apparently the words “nudity” and “sexual” are potentially poisonous to your brain:

Sears is currently offering giant posters of total nud**y on its website. Sears knows they are selling smut. Technology allows Sears to remove and stop selling these posters within minutes, so why won’t they?

I hope you will take my word for it, but if you must see the proof, they can be found here. Warning: the posters are extremely graphic and offensive, although they have been edited by us.

These aren’t just posters of scantily-clad women. Some of them depict groups of people, lesbians and others engaged in ***ual activities. Very little is left to the imagination.

According to a site that supports the AFA’s stance on this issue, a Sears employee has responded to the group’s concerns by saying that they “have reviewed the products in question and found that they do not fall outside our marketplace guidelines.”

Not surprisingly, the AFA isn’t happy with Sears’ refusal to remove the offending items:

Sears is playing with fire. Sears is the place that American families are used to going… and I just cannot imagine that the vast majority of their customer base wants to shop at a place that’s marketing pornography… There are a lot of other places that American families can shop for the same goods they get at Sears.

What do you think? Are these images too racy for the American public?

You won’t believe what Sears is selling [AFA.net via Edge Boston]

Sears Ignores Calls to Stop Selling Porn [Lifesitenews.com]

Comments

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  1. femiwhat says:

    I’d like to see what happens when an AFA member wanders past an American Eagle store.

    • c!tizen says:

      Did you see the picture of the AFA president? I’m sorry, but if anyone is into internet porn it’s that guy.

    • cash_da_pibble says:

      “quick, get a spoon!
      This man is having a seizure! “

      i could really push it a bit further for fun, but I pretend to have tact.

    • Michaela says:

      Abercrombie would be worse. Too much skin for their “pure” minds.

      • Andrew360 says:

        I love A&F.

        The AFA is just pissed that their ugly and don’t look that ***y. Weirdos.

        • Andrew360 says:

          I’d also like to state, for the record, I know the difference between there, their, and they’re.

          Sorry for the typo.

        • qualia says:

          Christ, why? Their clothes are overpriced Wal-Mart drek for 14 year olds. If you have to re-sew all the seams to make it last more than a year, why bother? And the visible branding is tacky as shit.

  2. zegron says:

    World English Dictionary
    pornography (pɔːˈnɒɡrəfɪ) [Click for IPA pronunciation guide]

    — n
    1. writings, pictures, films, etc, designed to stimulate sexual excitement

    So what are the point of those photos then? To stimulate high intellectual conversation? Just trying to be intellectually honest here.

    • usernameandp says:

      agreed.

    • Wei says:

      This. If you follow the link, they are pretty NSFW, which would be enough to complain about when commenting on the “family friendliness” of sears. Spencer’s makes no claim of being a family store.

      • pantheonoutcast says:

        And these posters are sold through their online portal via a third party. Not in their stores.

        • Wei says:

          They are selling them right? I used the word “store” once, at the end of my post and it was referencing Spencer’s.

          I’ll clarify: Sears considers themselves a family friendly company. They also sell these posters on their own website (http://www.sears.com/shc/s/search_10153_12605?keyword=posters&x=0&y=0&vName=&viewType=gal&viewItems=24) I searched for “posters” on their homepage.

          I don’t care if someone wants to sell these posters, but if they’re being honest, it’s not for all ages or even SFW.

          • pantheonoutcast says:

            Explain how Sears considers or refers to themselves a “Family Friendly Company.” Is this something in their official literature?

            • Wei says:

              Fair point. Don’t see any.

              Two things though.
              1) Those images are still not web safe, and a large retailer like sears should really think twice before having something as innocuous as “poster” result in them.

              2) I’d put good money down that if you email their PR dept. you’ll get a “of course we are family friendly and do our best to offer your family an enjoyable shopping experience…..” speech. There are plenty of companies that are willing to say “parts of our store are for adults only” Even blockbusters or Movie Gallery had this kind of stance. Sears doesn’t mention it, and it’s fair for a group that might otherwise shop there to complain.

              • pantheonoutcast says:

                Go to Amazon.com

                Choose the “Home, Garden & Pets” department and search the word “Poster.”

                Tell me what you find.

                • Wei says:

                  Appeal to Common Practice

                  Just because you can show it happens elsewhere, or even most places, does not make something right.

                  Person A: That restaurant if filthy inside
                  Person B: No they aren’t. The Restaurant next door was closed for health code violations!

      • joe23521 says:

        Wow, that one of the brunette spreading her legs is a bit borderline…The rest I don’t have a problem with, even if they are displayed in a store.

    • craptastico says:

      i have no problems with these posters at all, but to be honest, it’s a little more than i’d expect to see at a Sears. maybe these are only online, but i don’t think i’d want to walk down an aisle at Sears with my daughter past these.

    • c!tizen says:

      In the highest form of intellectualism I can muster… hell mother$#@%ing yeah!

    • humphrmi says:

      How many dictionaries did you have to search in order to find one that presented a definition that fits your argument?

      The Oxford Dictionary is the gold standard amongst English teachers. Their definition is just a bit different than yours:

      Noun

      Printed or visual material containing the explicit description or display of sexual organs or activity, intended to stimulate erotic rather than aesthetic or emotional feelings.

      Oh, and “high intellectual conversation” is not the only purpose of art.

      • YOXIM says:

        I only watch extremely nasty hardcore pornography in order to stimulate highly intellectual conversation. Is there another purpose for it that I do not know of?

      • zegron says:

        You are making an assumptions. I could ask you the same thing.

        What facts are you basing, “The Oxford Dictionary is the gold standard amongst English teachers” on? Did you find some scholarly research or at least a poll, or an article that assert that? Or are you just pulling that out of thin air or finding the result you want to fit your opinion like you accuse me of? :-)

        It may be that the Oxford Dictionary is THE gold standard amongst English teachers, but didn’t anyone ever teach you to present facts when you make an assertion?

        • humphrmi says:

          Go ask an English teacher.

        • pantheonoutcast says:

          How about an expert witness. I’m Master Teacher in NYC, with two degrees in English Literature and English Education, I’m nationally certified, and have ten years experience.

          When it comes to obtaining the proper definition of a word, we use the OED.

          Some posters of women in bathing suits is not pornography. No. The word you’re looking for here is “racy” or “suggestive”. Are those psychotic “beauty pageants” for kids, live action “Child pornography”?

        • dcaslin says:

          Ok zegron, here’s the big question. How many dictionaries did you check before you presented that definition of the word?

      • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

        I can quote the dictionary as well as anyone else, but one of my primary irritants with dictionary thumpers is that they forget that language, especially English, is fluid and changes to fit the circumstances. The meanings of words shift over time, which is why new editions of the dictionary come out every so often.

        The problem here is whether the definition of “pornography” is limited to “explicit” content or if it can be applied to ANY content which is “suggestive,” “naughty” or contains nudity. The entire debate is SO grey and SO based on individual judgements that there is simply no way to definitively say “this is pornography” and “this is art which contains nudity. It is difficult to even firmly establish the “intent” of the artists who created and distributed the images.

        Though I do tend to think that Americans put too much emphasis on nudity, having turned it into a huge social taboo, so for us, ANYTHING with nudity is automatically naughty and risque.

        • zegron says:

          Then Raydeebug, how we as a society establish any kind of norms then if no one is ever wrong? I don’t disagree with the fact that people are constantly trying to change what words mean. In my experience its usually because they have something they want or want to do and don’t want anyone telling them they can’t, so they distort or stretch the definitions.

          I just wonder sometimes, how far do we take it, where is the line drawn? And how does the decision to draw the line and where to draw it at come about? And who gets to decide? :-)

        • zegron says:

          I mean you could take it to an extreme, and people have, just look at NAMBLA (whom I lothe and despise) and their mission statement, “NAMBLA’s goal is to end the oppression of men and boys who have mutually consensual relationships.”

          Obviously these people have redefined words to make themselves comfortable with their vile and despicable desires and actions.

          Is the point I’m trying to make coming across? Or am I just rambling?

    • pantheonoutcast says:

      I’m pretty sure the point of these posters is to be hung on the wall and enjoyed by someone with enough money to buy them. Since they don’t feature children, farm animals, or kitchen implements in conjunction with children and farm animals, it’s absolutely no business of anyone or any group what sort of enjoyment the posters bring to an individual.

      • TheFinalBoomer says:

        I like how you answered in a way that put forth your own agenda, while completely ignoring his point. Well done.

        • pantheonoutcast says:

          It was nicer than just bluntly saying, “Your point is wrong.”

          • George4478 says:

            So those photos are not “designed to stimulate sexual excitement”? It’s just pure coincidence?

            I don’t care if Sears or anyone sells them, but saying that they are not sexual is bizarre.

    • joe23521 says:

      Well, according to the definition you quote, these posters are indeed pornographic. But I don’t think the modern definition of porn is quite the same.

    • joe23521 says:

      Well, according to the definition you quote, these posters are indeed pornographic. But I don’t think the modern definition of porn is quite the same.

    • Waydew says:

      I can’t seem to find anything called the “World English Dictionary”, nor can I find any dictionary that shows what you’ve printed here, even as a partial quote. This leads me to question your “intelectual honesty”.

    • Fafaflunkie Plays His World's Smallest Violin For You says:

      When was this “dictionary” last updated? 1869? You know, the Victorian Era, when women wouldn’t dare step outside without being covered head to toe?

      But more to the point, we are talking about the AFA here, who probably still complain about Howard Stern’s evil radio show.

  3. JMILLER says:

    Well I never wanted to shop at Sears, but I guess if it pisses off the AFA, I am all about it. Fuck the AFA.

  4. Dre' says:

    “Sears is the place that American families are used to going…”

    This line right here shows how horribly out of touch with reality these people are.

    • Liam Kinkaid says:

      Put on your Sundays’ best, kids! We’re going to Sears!

      • MamaBug says:

        i think i’ll go take a walk outside, the summer sun’s callin’ my name!

      • zandar says:

        when I was a kid, that was the absolute truth. Fortunately, my nuclear family was too cool to allow themselves to be dragged into their portrait studio to have their mullets documented for ridicule nowadays on Awkward Family Photos and the like.

      • stevenpdx says:

        Brady Bunch Movie FTW!

    • ElBobulo says:

      Haha! So true, I was thinking the same thing. Why is Sears even in existence anymore? Tools, I would guess.

    • El_Fez says:

      Just the other day I was in the Downtown Seattle Sears – haven’t been there in decades, but I was always going there when I was a kid. I remember it as being so big and cool, with an awesome candy section and loads of video games and a cool toy department. But yesterday, it was just a run down building full of not-cool, not-awesome stuff.

      It was so sad.

  5. danmac says:

    Seriously, guys…DIAF.

    • Pax says:

      +1

      I would have no problem with those posters, even on the wall of a teenaged boy’s bedroom. They’re racy, sure. But pornography? Pfft.

  6. brinks says:

    Didn’t I read here that Abercrombie & Fitch is coming out with a new catalog? I’m going to send the AFA one and hope their heads explode. That will make A&F good for something.

  7. TampaShooters says:

    Um, if you don’t like it, don’t buy it or look at it.. Move along… AFA probably wants to ban everything but burqas.

  8. themrdee says:

    I can’t determine how smutty these posters are because of the poor quality. Will you please post clearer images to enable me to see the details better. That way, I can make a more informed decision. Thanks.

  9. smo0 says:

    Uh oh… this is where that supreme court case quote might come into play…. “I know it when I see it.” – Potter Stewart

  10. UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

    OK, I went to the link.

    And you know what? They’re right. The Sears ads are borderline, if not downright pornographic. I’m not some prude, either. But hey, if it quacks like a duck…

    • Sparty999 says:

      these aren’t ads… they are posters that people can buy on their website…

    • pantheonoutcast says:

      Seriously? One of those posters looks like an Alphonse Mucha painting.

      • UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

        And one of them is a poster of people engaging in what appears to be coitus.

        Just because one is art doesn’t mean the rest are.

        • pantheonoutcast says:

          Just because you define art in one particular way doesn’t mean that everyone does.

          I could show you a hundred paintings in which people “appear to be engaged in coitus” in major museums around the world. Are those not “art” either?

          • UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

            Yes, you’re right. Art is subjective. Piss Jesus could be considered art amongst some uncouth circles.

            Hell, I guess on some alien planet we could call Hustler art.

            They’re still both pornographic or at least raunchy.

            Let me make this clear: I consume pornography and believe people should have the freedom to produce and consume it. I also am willing to call something porn when it’s porn. I also think people are fine by requesting that something they find objectionable be removed. The other party need not remove it, but nothing says the world needs to have porn everywhere for us to have freedom.

            And I’m sorry, but at least two of those posters are at least mildly pornographic.

            • JMILLER says:

              THEN DON’T FUCKING SHOP AT SEARS!
              If you see “coitus” as a BAD thing, or pornographic then that is your own issue. Your puritanical mentality is why this country is so fucked up about sex in general. Sex is not BAD in any way. Nudity is not bad in any way. Nobody is forced to buy it, nobody is forced to look at it.

              • danmac says:

                Erm…he just said he consumers pornography, which I take it to mean he faps to it (rather than eats it in a fit of puritanical rage). He’s just pointing out that these people have the right to object if they find something offensive, just like Sears has a right to ignore them.

                Deep breaths.

              • craptastico says:

                why the hissy fit? the article is about people choosing not to shop there for the exact reasons you said. end of story

                • RvLeshrac says:

                  The article is about people whose goal is to push Sears to remove the items from their online store. They aren’t simply “not shopping there,” they’re making a public fuss about the items in the hope of having them removed.

            • pantheonoutcast says:

              The word “pornography” literally means, “Writing about (or depicting through illustration) prostitutes or prostitution.”

              Naked women are not necessarily prostitutes. The word itself implies sexual intercourse, and since none of these pictures depict sexual intercourse, or even genitalia, they are not pornography. They are “erotic,” “racy” or “suggestive” or even “lewd,” (some might go so far as to call them “tasteless”) but they are not pornographic.

              A picture of two half-clothed people posing is “Erotic.” (Tending to arouse desire)
              A picture of two half-clothed people holding each other is “Suggestive.” (Self-explanatory)
              A picture of two half-clothed people having sexual contact is “Pornographic.” (Related to the function of prostitutes)

    • Wowbagger.the.Infinitely.Prolonged says:

      These are not ads, they are posters that are available through the website’s art section. Some of these may be avbailable in the stores as well, but they aren’t publicly posted like an ad.

    • danmac says:

      I don’t think they’re ads; I think they’re posters Sears sells on its website. It may be a small distinction, but I think it’s a valid one. FWIW, I went to the Sears website and typed “nude” in the posters sections and there was nudity there. I suppose the company could blur sections of the “offending” posters, but I don’t personally feel they need to do so.

    • UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

      Ads, posters, pffft.

      Mah bad, guys. Regardless, they’re still ducks.

  11. DonStanhouse says:

    Here is a sample of the idiocy that regularly emanates from the AFA: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/category/groups/american-family-association

    Laughers include “Gays Are Just Like Murderers, Liars, Thieves, and Slave Traders” and “Permits should not be granted to build even one more mosque in the United States of America”.

    • stevenpdx says:

      Wow, what a bunch of bigoted lunatics.

    • syzygy says:

      Yet more evidence never to trust any organization that uses words like “family”, “freedom”, or “patriot” as part of their name.

      • syzygy says:

        To amend that, I would revise “never to trust” with “to be careful about trusting”. As soon as I posted, I thought of an exception. Whoops.

  12. Arcaeris says:

    I don’t think it’s pornographic but you’d have to be kind of a douche to put one of those posters up. I mean the one with the girl in her underwear on the bed and the one with the soap over the breasts aren’t porn, but no one’s going to go, “Oh what fine artistic taste you have,” if you have that on your wall. Do frat dudes even shop at Sears?

  13. MaliBoo Radley says:

    Just remember folks, no matter the context, the female body is always sexual. Classical paintings? Sex! Breastfeeding? Sex! Anything less than a burqa on the beach? Sex!

    When will people understand that the female form is sinful and dirty?

    Now, the male body … my, those rippling muscles, the chiseled jaw, the strong and proud buttocks. That’s art, my friends.

    … sigh …

    • Wei says:

      Follow the link, tell me those aren’t sexualized image.

      • MaliBoo Radley says:

        I guess so. But even if they are, who cares? What’s wrong with sex?

        • Evil_Otto would rather pay taxes than make someone else rich says:

          The fact that the AFA membership largely can’t get laid.

        • Wei says:

          Nothing at all. But the headline reads “American Family Association Accuses Sears Of Selling Porn, Needs To Learn What Porn Really Is”.

          This is.

          I think it’s funny that the consumerist it poking fun at a complaint made by a group that would land on the consumer side of this argument when they are voicing their displeasure at the decisions of a company.

          Does sears have to take them down? No. Are the AFA justified in asking them to because they prefer a porny-poster-free sears website? Yes.

      • joe23521 says:

        The only potential problem I see here is the fact that Sears is a family-friendly store and these posters probably shouldn’t be available to kids.

        • MaliBoo Radley says:

          Bullpuckey. They sell Playboy at Border’s and Barnes & Noble. Kids could possibly see them there as well. Should they not sell them?

          When on earth did American society become so dedicated to “protecting” children from legitimate adult pleasures. How about parents watch their kids?

          • Wei says:

            I agree in good parenting and kids should certainly be watched. In fact, I can’t stress this enough! I just think it’s not unreasonable to ask them to not put playboys at 8 year-old eye level.

            In the same way I don’t think a racy picture is going to end the world, I don’t think discretion is either. I appreciate companies who use it.

        • Conformist138 says:

          Walk into a book store and ask for books of erotic nudes. Seriously, this is stuff that is sold in just about any large book or decor store. Look around some big grocery chain for the wall of posters you can flip through. Is it sexy? Yes. Will some people find it offensive? Yes. Is it in any way unusual to see? No. This hurts no one. AFA needs to get a life or get laid or something.

    • UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

      Uhh…

      http://action.afa.net/Detail.aspx?id=2147497177

      Some of these are pretty close to pornographic. Even if you want to be rawr feministing all up in here, let’s face it: the safe sex ad at the very least seeks to be titillating.

      Even if their campaign is stupid (it is), let’s not pretend that Sears is doing artful depictions of the female form. They’re selling with sex. If this were Hardee’s/Carl’s Jr., people here would be screaming “down with the misogyny!” in a heartbeat.

      • MaliBoo Radley says:

        Actually, I’m the opposite of a feminist. I have no problem with men that like to check out women’s tits. I have no problem with nudity. Those pictures don’t seem objectifying or offensive to me.

        People are faaaaaar too hung up about naked flesh. It’s silly. Like a bunch of tittering schoolboys.

        • UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

          Yes, you are right.

          It’s still pretty damn close to pornographic in content though. You’re arguing something different, in my opinion.

          • MaliBoo Radley says:

            Yeah, I suppose I am. I’m going to the root of the problem, rather than asking/answering the whole “is it porn?” thing. It just bugs the heck out of me that people get so weird about their, and other peoples, bodies. It’s just odd to me.

            I realize it’s off point, but couldn’t the AFA go and spend their time being offended by stuff the fact that 1 in 4 american children go to be hungry? That seems considerably more important. I guess I’m just tired about having the same old argument about porn. Let’s evolve.

            • UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

              I’ll be honest. I consume plenty of adult entertainment and have a perfectly normal sex life.

              I also don’t want to see porn everywhere in everything.

              As much as we should all have the freedom to consume whatever we want, we also don’t need wangs and hoohaas all over billboards and sold in stores everywhere. A degree of privacy is a good thing.

              • MaliBoo Radley says:

                These are posters found in the Sears art department, not advertisements.

              • MaliBoo Radley says:

                Also, I would love to see more wang. That seems to be the last taboo. I might just have to start a “More Wang” campaign.

            • ConsumerMan says:

              There is a difference between the fact that women shouldn’t be uncomfortable with their bodies or their sexuality and that porn is okay. One can agree with the former without accepting the latter.

              If you aren’t offended or bothered by these posters, that is fine. But you might consider that there are legitimate and well-thought out reasons to be bothered by these posters. Porn – and many would classify some of those images as porn – does harm to both men and women: it can influence a person’s perception of and level of respect for women (or men, if they are depicted), it sets up unrealistic expectations of body image (though porn isn’t exclusive in this… any cosmo cover does the same ill), and is often a causal factor in abuse.

              See more at: http://www.nostatusquo.com/ACLU/dworkin/other/JensDworkin.html

        • ihatephonecompanies says:

          heehee you said “tittering”

      • HogwartsProfessor says:

        Like NO OTHER COMPANY sells with sexy ads. And they’re not plastered all over the television, magazines and the Internet for everyone to see.

        • UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

          What does that have to do with anything? I’m not arguing that Sears is alone in doing this. I’m arguing that at least a few examples of the product being sold is pretty much pornographic (except for the painting).

          Once again: if it quacks like a duck…

          I’m not saying Sears should take it down. I don’t give a flying pig’s ass. I just think people saying “OMG IT’S JUST NUDITY” are ignoring the fact that by most definitions at least a few of those are at the very least softcore porn. Skinemax level, even.

      • dolemite says:

        Some of those are artful. The safe sex one is more smuttish. The upper right one is borderline. The rest are fine.

    • yusefyk says:

      I think the sexualized part is where the ladies are kissing and touching each other’s bottoms. Don’t jump out in front of this to get offended please.

      • MaliBoo Radley says:

        It’s titillation, sure. But why all the hubbub and fuss? It’s no worse than you see on a calendar in an auto shop. I guess I just don’t understand why people get all bent out of shape about naked chicks.

    • dolemite says:

      Well, we live in America. Sex is dirty. Porn is awful, and the female form should be covered up 100% of the time. However, if you want to disembowel someone and strangle them with their intestines on network tv, I’m sure that is fine.

      Honestly, sometimes I think we are heading in the same direction as Iran sometimes.

  14. dolemite says:

    “Smut”? Apparently the nude human form is smut? I suppose a great deal of classical greek art is smut. The image on the right is the “raciest”, but honestly it isn’t vulgar in the least. The 2nd image is something you could see on an ABC tv show. The one on the left is art.

    It honestly sickens me there are organizations out there wasting millions of dollars on attempting to censor the entire planet rather than devoting their time and money to something like cancer research, the environment, or even something like helping stray animals. Such a HUGE waste of resources.

    • Sparty999 says:

      If many of the AFA members were naked… I could make an argument that it was offensive… or at least gross.

    • craptastico says:

      try following the link and looking at the rest of the pictures. the 3 displayed above are by far the tamest

    • AK47 - Now with longer screen name! says:

      Oh, for fuck’s sake, please stop with the “why are you doing X when you could be saving the world?” bullshit!!! Really, why are you wasting time reading Consumerist when you could be out there saving puppies in the rainforest whose poop can cure cancer?

      Yes, the AFA are douchebags who are wasting time with this nonsense. But you know what? It’s their time to waste. They’re putting their efforts into a cause that they feel is meaningful and useful.

      You can disagree with them all you want, but for the love of God, please stop trying to dictate what other people should believe in.

      • pantheonoutcast says:

        “You can disagree with them all you want, but for the love of God, please stop trying to dictate what other people should believe in.”

        You see the irony in that statement, yes?

        • AK47 - Now with longer screen name! says:

          Touche. :)

          But I stand by my hatred of the “Why waste time on something *you* feel is important, when you should be spending your time on something *I* feel is important” argument.

      • SkokieGuy says:

        I think you are wrong. If this group is about “Families” how about doing concrete things to help families in need, rather than attempt to legislate their morality or boycott to attempt to force retailers to behalf according to their wishes.

        Unwed mothers, huge percentages of children living in poverty, poor education systems, gangs, violence, etc. etc. If you want to help families, expending energy on trying to prevent posters from being sold is not a terribly effective method of helping families.

  15. SkokieGuy says:

    Ah, the American Family Association, slogan “Speaking out Against Intolerance” (where is the missing snark tag!)

    The former California director for AFA was Scott Lively of Abiding Truth Ministries and the Pro-Family Law Center. Lively is a long-time anti-gay activist who has written such books as The Pink Swastika which claims that “homosexuals [are] the true inventors of Nazism and the guiding force behind many Nazi atrocities.”

    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/american-family-association

  16. pantheonoutcast says:

    Dear AFA:

    If you actually have to self-censor the words “nudity” and “sex,” then you suffer from many, massive psychological illnesses. You are both dangerous and irrelevant in contemporary society. I am going to Sears today and not only make a purchase, but I am going to tell everyone in earshot that I am doing it in the name of your group. I’m sure they will at least be amused that someone from the AFA desperately needs to purchase a 12 pack of boys underwear and three gallons of industrial lubricant.

    Signed,

    Me.

  17. SkokieGuy says:

    Ah, the American Family Association, slogan “Speaking out Against Intolerance”

    The former California director for AFA was Scott Lively of Abiding Truth Ministries and the Pro-Family Law Center. Lively is a long-time anti-gay activist who has written such books as The Pink Swastika which claims that “homosexuals [are] the true inventors of Nazism and the guiding force behind many Nazi atrocities.”

    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/american-family-association

  18. ColoradoShark says:

    From the article “Sears is the place that American families are used to going”.

    More accurately “Sears is the place that American families used to go to.”

  19. Shadowfire says:

    Not terribly revealing, no nipple shots, somewhat suggestive features…

    Yes, these are too racy for the American public. I know the FCC would agree.

  20. CrazyPiggy says:

    I feel like suing the AFA for false advertising as they claim they are projecting the views of American Families. And then I’ll show up to the trial in teh nude.

  21. smbizowner says:

    hi class art there, who would put that stuff on their wall.

    Oh wait some frat houses of some Jr Hi kid (inside closet door).

    and by the way sears, where is the Man skin images. I’m just talking equal opportunity here.

  22. the Persistent Sound of Sensationalism says:

    Whatever. As Penn & Teller said (paraphrased): “That there is anything wrong with pornography or that is causes deviant behavior is complete and utter bullshit.”

    The AFA can get f**ked.

    • UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

      Porn is fine. But do you really think that we should be putting porn up everywhere? Is it a “good” thing to have children accessing porn?

      I’m not so sure.

      • pantheonoutcast says:

        If they have access to the internet, children aren’t accessing porn on a department store’s website.

        • moorie679 says:

          Aaah I remember the days checking the mail box for the new Victoria’s secret catalog, it was like xmas teenagers growing up with the internet are missing those awkward memories…….

          • MarvinMar says:

            Better yet, when I was little, we used to get our jollies looking at the 1/2 naked women in the SEARS CATALOG. How pathetic.

          • the Persistent Sound of Sensationalism says:

            I remember my first apartment which I sublet from two women, both of which I assume signed up for Victoria Secret’s mailing list several times. I received approximately 4 of the same catalog 3 times a week. I don’t know what my neighbors must have thought of this piles of recyclables every Tuesday morning.

      • dolemite says:

        I’m not sure what children are doing shopping on the sears website by themselves. Or on the internet by themselves for that matter.

      • the Persistent Sound of Sensationalism says:

        When I was in London 14 years ago at age 17, street vendors were selling posters of fully nude women which were prominently displayed. They weren’t artsy pictures either. There is too much shame in this and most countries about the human body. There weren’t crowds of anyone, children or otherwise, gawking at the posters. That, more than anything else, was what struck me about seeing it.

        I don’t care if a child sees a naked body of a man or a woman. What the fuck are we hiding from them? All it shows them is that they should be ashamed of any sort of nudity, whether they are alone or with others.

        • smo0 says:

          Exactly, we’re only furthering the “values” that made this an issue in the first place….

          WTF is with people not having educated talks with their children…

          it’s like parents decided this when they decided the TV was a better parent….

          • UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

            There’s a difference between the nude body and objectification and sexualization.

            And maybe I’m just some prudish American twit, but I definitely think we could use less of the latter two.

    • Brent says:

      Actually, I doubt AFA can get f*cked if they think this is how one f*cks. :)

  23. Sparty999 says:

    American Apparel ads are worse than these… God I hate these people… you wanna see porn? I’ll show you some porn…

    • SkokieGuy says:

      AFA please read a Details or Vanity Fair. Play close attention to the D & G or Armani or Calvin Klein or Victoria’s Secret underwear ads.

      You’ll want to study these, probably in private.

  24. ellmar says:

    “nud**y”? “***ual”???

    Sorry but if they can’t even spell out the words nudity” and sexual then I can’t take them seriously.

  25. Jeff-er-ee says:

    oh NOES! Sears is about to lose the business of ALL 47 AFA members. That’s over half their market! (okay, maybe a third)

    Nah, I shop at Sears from time to time. I sure hope they don’t knuckle under to these nutjobs. Doing so would make me think twice about shopping there again.

  26. scratchie says:

    “I hope you will take my word for it… but if you don’t, you can see this disgusting filth for yourself right here. And right here. And right here. And right here…”

  27. kosmo @ The Soap Boxers says:

    And, in a related note, sales of the targeted posters shoot through the roof.

  28. Brent says:

    I hope AFA never reads the Song of Solomon. It’s very s*xual.

  29. backinpgh says:

    Extremely graphic and offensive? Oh my. They must have an awful time going to the beach or pool.

    • moorie679 says:

      Beach is the devil’s playground that is why it gets so hot when people in bikinis show up…..sin is directly correlated with temperature….

  30. rocketslide says:

    Has anyone actually found these posters for sale on the Sears website? I just did a cursory search in the “Framed Art” section, and couldn’t find anything racier than Marylin Monroe’s 7 Year Itch photo. I’m calling bullshit.

  31. TouchMyMonkey says:

    Not something I’d hang on my wall at home, but not pr0n, either. AFA needs to get laid. Seriously.

  32. MarvinMar says:

    I have no problem with AFA protesting this. This is Spencers area and not what you think of when thinking of Sears.
    However, How do they decide who to attack and who to leave alone?

    Have they never been to Spencers, have they never browsed around Amazon.com to see all the sex related items there?
    Will they protest Target for selling condoms or lube? (I think they did when target started selling the Trojan Personal Massager)

    My point is there is always stuff people find offensive, and if you stop shopping anywhere that sells a product you don’t like, or gives money to a cause you don’t like, or takes a political stand different from yours…….You will soon have nowhere to shop.

  33. ret3 says:

    It’s a shame that Sears is probably both too beholden to the demographic that takes the AFA and accusations of smut-peddling seriously as well as too deep in the crapper financially to tell these bozos to shove it.

    I really wish a major company confronted by absurd pressure to conform to the jesus-taliban’s demands would issue, instead of a weak excuse followed by quiet capitulation, a powerful defense of their right and their customers’ rights followed by a well-publicized ridiculing of the uptight jerks.

  34. NahWukkers says:

    The answer, as always, is “Don’t like it? Vote with your feet.” Personally, I think these are a little more racy than I’d expect Sears to be offering. But hey, anything to gets these wowzers’ panties in a bunch. They keep yearning for an America that only ever really existed on TV. It would be nice if they could be shrunk and transported into their magical TV land, and we wouldn’t have to listen to their self-righteous nonsense. On the other hand, first amendment and all that …

  35. Supes says:

    AFA is led by intolerant bigots… they’re actually asking that “no more mosques” be built in the United States. Their president has said Jews control the media and are intentionally placing anti-Christian messages in programming to undermine Christianity.

    I mean, seriously folks… the AFA has destroyed any credibility they may have once had, and frankly if this pisses them off, I’d just encourage Sears to do it more. We’re far too prudish about this sort of thing in the United States anyway. A naked body isn’t obscene, and it’s not like they’re showing hardcore sex.

  36. dgm says:

    I just used the “send a letter to Sears” form on AFA’s website to send Sears a letter encouraging them to keep selling the prints and to keep ignoring AFA. :)

  37. rdking says:

    the AFA also posted something calling for a total ban on new construction of mosques in the country.
    The AFA and groups like them are a bigger threat to this country than Al-Quaeda

  38. evnmorlo says:

    These posters are sold by 3rd party sellers. I doubt any American Families will come across them, and Sears’s crappy website itself would cause a lot more damage to children than any of the *****, *****, *****, *****, ******, or God forbid ****** that are visible.

    • pantheonoutcast says:

      When I see ****** my ****** gets all ****** and I just want to ****** the first ****** I see.

  39. COBBCITY says:

    “Technology allows Sears to remove and stop selling these posters within minutes, so why won’t they?” – Um, because the American Family Association does not dictate what a retailer can sell.

    This story has been popping up in my news feed for about a week. Clearly, the media is not grabbing ahold of it because it seems silly. I worked in marketing and we actually would get calls (sadly, usually from the elderly) screaming because the photos of woman modeling bras in ads was also “pornography”. I guess you should sell woman’s underwear by having the model dress in a burka.

    The calls were laughed at and nothing changed. If most “American families” agreed with AFA this would be a bigger story.

  40. Miss Dev (The Beer Sherpa) says:

    I like that you have to click through THREE warnings on AFA’s site to see the images.

    Oh no, the natural human body! Everyone panic!

  41. Bodger says:

    Quick, burn the Botticelli before granny has the vapors!

  42. FoxCMK says:

    Some of those are pretty racy, but the nature of the English language (as explained in this thread far better than I could) is one of gray areas, and to claim they’re “pornographic” is entirely up to the beholder.

    I have to say I can’t stand the AFA, however.

  43. diasdiem says:

    I think I saw this on Fark or something a few days ago. I think the link goes through like 2 different confirmation screens asking if you’re sure you want to see it. Hilarious.

  44. ThunderRoad says:

    Nudity does not equal pornography or obscenity. I think the images are really nice, although a few are kinda juvenile.

    Of course, I’m a photographer that specializes in nude and festish works (www.21d.com) so what do I know.

  45. Chip Skylark of Space says:

    Yow lovely that AFA had a web form I could use to send a message to Sears. Basically told them to keep up the good work. Didn’t mention that their clothing selection sucks, and that I would never consider going to a Sears unless I was buying a hand tool for a fridge….

  46. Buckus says:

    So retailers are supposed to bend to the whims of every organization that makes a request? If that were the case, nobody would sell anything, because guaranteed that for every product sold, there is a group that is fundamentally opposed to it for some reason. Even milk and water. Kudos to Sears for telling the AFA who’s running the store. Almost makes me want to go to Sears.com and buy some stuff now.

    BTW, never heard of this American Family Association, and I’ve got two kids and a wife.

  47. ScottyB says:

    My response to the AFA: The American Family Association members can take their “family values” and shove them up their fvcking religitard a$$holes.

  48. sirwired says:

    The AFA seems to be cut from the same “we don’t care if our only publicity consists of people laughing at us” mold as the CSPI, Greenpeace, and PETA.

    Maybe it will eventually dawn on them that this does not, in fact, actually advance any of their goals.

    I can understand a wife not being real thrilled when hubby hangs up a picture of a woman wearing a sponge and a smile in the bedroom, but what, precisely, is “offensive” about a great-looking babe?

  49. LawyerontheDL says:

    If these people are so appalled by sex and nudity, how do they have children? Does Sears sell turkey basters?

  50. El_Fez says:

    It’s no worse than what you would find in the Sears catalog in the underwear section. I – ahem – heard of people spanking the hell out of it to those models back in the seventies.

  51. rhinojosa says:

    In the words of David Cross, “Dirty, dirty, filthy titty.”

  52. indiegeek says:

    Well, I just used their email form to send a nice letter to Sears congratulating them for standing up to the wingnuts, and telling them that I’d be more inclined to spend money with them this holiday season for not bowing down to the tiny minority of crazy trying to censor them.

  53. EBounding says:

    Why is “nudity” censored but not “smut”? They should have censored smut.

    Sears sells s**t.

    There we go!

  54. Riroon13 says:

    While the posters are less sensational than what the AFA is making them out to be, they are sensational nonetheless.

    My biggest problem is this seems like the desperate act of an aging retailer for income. Sears’ reputation is built on Kenmore, Craftsman, and reasonably-priced apparel and electronics. Not underboob.

    Seriously, with all the stuff available on the net and in places like Spencers, do you think anyone goes ‘I’m so worked up right now! I need to see a hot model half naked! I know… SEARS!’

    Know your customers, Mr. Sears.

  55. peebozi says:

    I am going to continue my boycott of the AFA…please join me!

  56. SpaceNerd says:

    I find this amusing.

    There are many, many reasons not to shop at Sears (just browse through the Consumerist archives) yet the AFA felt the need to invent a new one that doesn’t actually apply.
    Typically I would never defend Sears, however I find myself forced to in this case.

    I will hold my tongue, though, and resist from commenting on the general validity of the AFA.

  57. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    THINK OF THE AMERICAN FAMILIES!

  58. bdcw says:

    Dear Mr. Costello:

    Where can I buy these?

    I really like these posters. I want posters like these. Lots of them. Can I order them online? Are they in your stores? Will you be selling more in the future?

    TIA
    Ucvbn Bjfyuvs

  59. Mike says:

    If it doesn’t have transgender, barely legal, Japanese school girls engaged in watersports it’s not porn to me.

  60. PsiCop says:

    I think the little children who make up the AFA need desperately to take the pacifiers out of their mouths, get toilet trained and out of diapers, and just generally grow the hell up, for the first time in their sniveling little lives. Then they should go out and get real jobs so they don’t have time for this juvenile bellyaching any more.

  61. OnePumpChump says:

    Porn is anything in which you abruptly lose interest after masturbating.

    All of a sudden I don’t find this post very interesting.

  62. Mknzybsofh says:

    I edited their basic letter for the AFA Actionalert to the following:

    Dear Mr. Costello:

    I can’t understand why American Family Association (AFA) cares that Sears is choosing to sell adult materials on its website.

    As a none supporter of American Family Association (AFA), we are also very happy to learn that you have casually discounted several calls from AFA by refusing to discuss our concerns.

    Back-to-School is a busy time for Sears. I will certainly consider doing my shopping exclusively with sears as a result of the company’s adult-oriented product offerings.

  63. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    I didn’t follow the link to the web site but I figure whether or not the posters are pornographic is moot.

    The AFA made their complaint and Sears made their response. Sears says that none of it is bad enough that they can’t sell it and since they’re only selling these on their web site I don’t think it’s worth getting worked up about.

    Seriously, are there any little kids going to Sears’ web site to look at smut? I doubt it.

  64. packy says:

    I don’t know how to define pornography, but I know it when I see it.

    And this ain’t it.

  65. cigsm says:

    I used their cool Form Letter & just replaced all the “will not shop at Sears” with “Will shop at Sears” & turned it into a supportive letter for the business Sears to sell whatever products it wants, and crazed fanatical fringe groups to choose not to shop there.

    Success!

  66. H3ion says:

    I’m on my way to Sears to stock up on high button shoes, buggy whips and posters.

  67. Traveshamockery says:

    Please note that the “*”s in the following quote are theirs, because apparently the words “nudity” and “sexual” are potentially poisonous to your brain:

    No, it’s because they don’t want their site to be blocked by web filtering software that looks for terms like “nudity” and “sexual”.

  68. Angry JD says:

    Someone please burn down AFA HQ. These people are lunatics.

  69. HappyFunTimes says:

    I want to pay for overnight delivery…but I know I shouldn’t. I can wait patiently by the front door.

  70. tinyhands says:

    FYI – you can use the AFA website to send an email to Sears. I erased the default text objecting to the alleged pornography and replaced it with support and encouragement.

  71. Mr.Grieves says:

    “Technology allows Sears to remove and stop selling these posters within minutes, so why won’t they? “

    Technology also allows you to find far better ‘smut’ within minutes. Don’t they know print is a dying medium?

  72. thomas_callahan says:

    The *** are probably because most of their followers have insane net nanny software installed and couldn’t visit the site if those words turned up on it.

  73. CalicoGal says:

    The [AFA] doth protest too much, methinks.

  74. Aaronjk says:

    Guess these people don’t buy gas… most gas stations sell real porn!! Playboy, Hustler, Barely 18!!

  75. Sparkstalker says:

    Damn you AFA….damn you to hell. You’re making me support Sears. Assholes.

  76. mandy_Reeves says:

    I am a Christian, but folks like these give me a bad name. I mean…zomg a lady in a bikini! I hate Jesus forever now *flails and falls on floor* satan has taken overrrr!

    American Family needs to get a life.

  77. Tiandli says:

    I’m sure the AFA spent alot of time staring at these images to determine if they are truly of pornographic nature.

    They even display these unedited pornographic images on their own website so others have a chance to stare and decide.

  78. JF says:

    If they can’t even spell our sexual and nudity it has to make you wonder where their kids come from……

    Just saying…….

  79. josephPblow says:

    Here’s the deal; Sears recently began to essentially farm out their website by selling the products of tons of other internet retailers… stuff that Sears would never sell in a million years. I found this out when I was searching online for a mid-range shotgun mic (500 dollar range) and found that suddenly Sears.com is just chock full of high-end audio gear. Of course a closer look revealed that it was much like the the amazon model where certain retailers sell their inventory through amazon, allowing amazon to take a cut.

    I’ll bet that these posters are just some Sears partner that automatically posted them as part of their own extensive inventory. Sears has spent the last several decades in free-fall and it doesn’t surprise me that their online efforts are as equally short sighted and poorly planned as their brick and mortar offerings.

    Of course the big problem with this is that any internet-savvy consumer would never buy, say, high-end electronics from Sears.com because the sears cut renders the prices too high. They are left with less-savvy consumers who think that they are getting the comfort of a historic brand like Sears to support their purchase. Then when their expensive audio-technica mic dies and they drive to their local sears store for a replacement or a refund… they are greeted with proto-simian blank stares from the staff…

    For a company that was so amazingly successful in the catalog-world for generations, its amazing how poorly Sears has seemed to translate that success into the online world.

  80. Kibit says:

    I don’t agree with calling these images pornography, but they are sexual images except for the poster of the painting.

    Although I do not agree with AFA, these images are sexual and I am a little surprised that they are on Sears website.

  81. Aaron Poehler says:

    What a bunch of nutbags.

  82. ommpa_loompa says:

    I am TOTALLY SHOCKED! Sears is still open????

  83. Conformist138 says:

    They lost me completely when they put in classic paintings. Um… depicting a nude person isn’t always about sex. It’s just the human body, so what?

    Some are racy, but really, we see these posters for sale all over and never pay them any mind. Look around Amazon and see what posters they sell. Try Overstock, or any other large online retailer.

  84. Traveller says:

    I’m going to repeat my response from another site that was discussing this topic a week ago. I know there’s going to be more than one person who won’t like what I have to say, but it ties in given this group’s leanings.

    “The supposed brouhaha is about Sears selling posters on their website that just happen to have these images on them. In my not so humble opinion the fundamentalist Christians who object to this stuff really need to get out more often. In fact, I’ve got a wonderful idea for them.

    Join the real world.

    What these people find objectionable other people (like me and I think a large segment of the population) don’t.

    We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.”

  85. Charmander says:

    Wow, who knew the words “nudity” and “sexual” were obscene words and not even fit for print?

    • rjs says:

      Are you kidding? These are the same people who want everyone to boycott the new William Shatner sitcom on NBC this fall: @#&! My Dad Says [sic] because to them, even using symbols to replace the “profane” word is offensive.

      You read that right: even the SYMBOLS used to replace the word “shit” are offensive.

      You cannot make this stuff up. How uptight can you be.

    • Wei says:

      WOW, who knew that if you read the original page, you’ll see that the message was written for email and they didn’t want it to get bounced by their member’s spam filters.

  86. Crutnacker says:

    I often get the impression that the “Wildmen” at the AFA write about these “offensive” things with one hand on the keyboard and one hand on their….. request for money. For the AFA has been like a 10 year old highlighting dirty words in a dictionary. I love how they talk about the horrible impact of such smut but spend hours recording it for posterity. I once wrote them and told them their newsletter was awesome because now I knew all the dirty shows to watch.

    My guess is that the tremendous gay hatred of Don and family hides some skeletons in the closet.

  87. DanGarion says:

    Unless I can see all these pictures as they appear on Sears, I don’t believe the AFA’s accusation.

  88. qwill says:

    What’s weird is I had heard this article and then looked at the sale ad for Sears in the Sunday paper and the picture on front was pretty raunchy. I tried to find a link and couldn’t.

  89. Fafaflunkie Plays His World's Smallest Violin For You says:

    Wonder what would happen if (gasp!) they ever came across a Victoria’s Secret catalogue? An American Apparel billboard? A Calvin Klein ad in the latest Vanity Fair? What in the name of J*s*s (hey, if they can censor “obscene” words, so can I) would they scream about then? Another boycott campaign? Ask Howard Stern how well those did.

  90. katsuyakaiba says:

    How many bloody warnings do they think I need to see some nudity?

    Are you sure? Yes
    Are you REALLY sure? Yes
    Okay..here it is…BUT BE WARNED THAT YOU MAY NOT BE SURE!

  91. PupJet says:

    Okay, did anyone get the concept that ‘nudity’ and ‘sexual’ are bad words, but yet SMUT isn’t? LOL

    *Shakes head and walks away* The AFA don’t fight for families. For all concerns, it’s a cult.

  92. Andy S. says:

    Pornography is legal. Obscenity is not legal. The distinction is lost on the vast majority of the American population and lost on 100% of the AFA.

  93. pot_roast says:

    the AFA is just another wingnut christian zealot group. Just like Focus on the Family. Ignore them.

  94. duncanblackthorne says:

    In my experience people who get so up-in-arms over things like this usually are doing so because they have something they’re ashamed of they want to hide, so I wonder what filthy little fettishes these so-called “pro-family” people are indulging in?

  95. Levk says:

    ummm… yea the AFA has waaaaaay to much time on there hands. They should be disbanded and I hope my tax dollars are not paying for anything they do.. really, waste of time and money.

  96. Kristoffer says:

    If they think this is porn I could send them some links that would show them the difference.

  97. JayBents says:

    So have they boycotted museums yet?

  98. mharris127 says:

    I wonder who is running this orgainzation now. The guy who started it used to teach at a public school, I had met him a few times and he seemed like a decent guy (a bit of a stuffed shirt-type, but nice enough). I also knew his adopted son quite well. Neither seemed to be the type to react to this that strongly. Yes, these pictures should not be available to minors, but they aren’t even against Christianity (the one in the center is close, though) to see as they are clothed and not overtly sexual.

    Personally, I think that porn should continue to exist for adults to view if they want to. I don’t believe that it is a detriment to society in any manner. Sears should ask for an age verification before selling or allowing viewing of these pictures, but if adults want them, that is fine.

  99. specialist says:

    Really? Not porn? View this and scroll to the bottom of the page to see what others who have looked at this image have viewed. Your article and the pictures at the top are so tame to what’s really on Sears.com. Just want I want my teenager looking at…

    http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_SPM218792703P?mv=rr